So I recently watched: The Founder and this is not a review but yet another Toastmasters Post

I have taken over as the President of my organization’s Toastmasters Club. Again. Below is my presidential address of acceptance. You may read it for some motivation. Enjoy!
The Founder

Recently, I happened to watch a movie called “The Founder”. It was about a businessman called Ray Kroc, who was the chairman of the McDonald’s corporation. Although the movie is called ‘The Founder’ as Ray Kroc liked himself to be called as ‘The Founder’ of the restaurant chain McDonald’s, he was not the actual founder. He used to be Milk-shake maker salesman. He used to sell these machines door to door with mediocre success. By chance when he saw the 1st McDonald’s restaurant, he was amazed. He was super-impressed with the efficiency of the place, he had an epiphany. He quickly developed an idea. What he did was to show and convince the actual founders of McDonald’s, 2 brothers named Richard and Maurice McDonald, that what they could be. He worked diligently hard on the franchise model and made McDonald’s a household name throughout the world. He wasn’t the original founder, but he adopted the brand and made it so successful.

There was one very important line in that movie which Ray Kroc often used to say to himself, and I quote:

“Nothing in this world can take the place of good old persistence. Talent won’t. Nothing’s more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius won’t. Unrecognized genius is practically a cliche. Education won’t. Why the world is full of educated fools.

Persistence and determination alone are all powerful.”

I strongly believe in the concept of Persistence being the only difference between those who succeed and those who don’t. The never say die, winners never quit, quitters never win attitude, is the only way to be successful.

Coming back to our club, Toastmasters wasn’t founded by us. Neither this Club was founded by us. At least most of us sitting here. But in Trailblazers Toastmasters Club, we found an opportunity. When we joined the club we found this an opportunity to not only to become better communicators and better leaders but also, an opportunity to make difference in each other’s lives. Of course, there were and there will be numerous ups and downs. But together, we will persist and overcome all the challenges.

Now, please note, this is very important and might sound harsh. While I certainly do accept the responsibility and I will try my best to fulfill this position. I have to say this:

In our club, there lies a lot of potential. Each and every member present here has a lot of hidden talent. But most members suffer from a problem which can be summed by just one word: Hesitation. We hesitate. We need some push. Some external stimuli. Some catalyst. Some trigger.

It might sound totally weird but instead, what I am telling you is to assume that you have no President and no officers. Still, since you are paying money to Toastmasters, you have to run the club yourself. You have to volunteer for roles, you have to fill in for back-out, you have to spend time in helping others by being the timer, the ah-counter, and you have to represent your club everywhere else. We are totally open to all the new ideas. We encourage you to come up on the stage and bring out whatever talents you have. Just remember, the Trailblazers Toastmasters Club, should be a Trailblazer where members have full freedom to do whatever want to achieve their goals.

You, yourself, have to keep the club running. All Officers have an equally important job as yours and they have the same 24 hours as you have. We all know ours is a corporate club. We have to make the best of what we have in our hands.

Can we do it? Can we do it? Can we do it?

Having said that I would like to say that the set of officers we have had in the past term tried their best and they were indeed successful in achieving a lot. I would like to thank and congratulate the past term of officers, who did a fabulous job and took the club to greater heights.

<I thanked all the officers here>

Last but not least, fellow Trailblazers, a leader is nothing but a contributor with a fancy title. I would like to thank you all for trusting me, once again. I can summarise my way of contribution by stating just 3 things:

Doing > Planning > Sitting idle and let things happen to you.

I am pretty sure, all of you will help me and each other and will work towards our common goals. There is a lot of potential in all of us. It might not always be in speaking, but in so many other aspects. Look at the things, you do best and use that to be the best.

Remember, if you keep at it, you will do it. Persistence is the only way to succeed. All the best to all of you! Thank you!

Serious Pose
Serious Pose

Last Presidential Address

The script for my last presidential address at my Toastmasters Club. I didn’t deliver it exactly as the script but you can still read it for free:

Today is my last Presidential Address. Please don’t cry at the end of the speech. For the last 25 odd Toastmasters Meetings, I used to prepare something for each week.

How many of you read the December 2017 edition of the Toastmasters Magazine? (How many of you know that there is a Toastmasters Magazine published monthly?)

On the very first page, there’s a line by International President DTM Balraj Arunasalam, where he is quoting Mark Twain,

“A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read”

In the same way, he says that

“A Toastmaster who won’t lead has no advantage over one who can’t lead”

It means that if you have an opportunity to lead a group of people, for your and their betterment, you must grab that opportunity with both hands. As Robin Williams said in ‘Dead Poets Society’,

“Carpe diem”

First of all, I would like to state that Trailblazers Toastmasters Club is not my baby as in I wasn’t a charter member or part of the executive committee until January 2017. But, when I had joined it in June 2016, soon I did adopt it as my baby. I saw it as a place which had huge potential for me to grow as a person. It was a place where I could meet new people and develop my communication skills. I tried my best to capture the moments I had in the club. Over the course of last one and a half years, I have seen this club grow from a novice club to a sophisticated club now. We now have proper standards, practices, procedures, and processes to run the club. In the recently held elections, we not only got the 7 officers elected on time, 3 more people stood up and took the responsibility of Associate Officers.

During my time as acting VP-Education, VP-Membership and then as President, with the help of the executive committee, we tried to do whatever I could to make the club beneficial to everyone. I hope that our efforts were useful to all the members. I said this in my Presidential Acceptance speech 6 months ago and I will say it again that if we take our role in Toastmasters a tad bit seriously and see it as an opportunity to help others, we can do wonders. I will share a small story about helping others which I had read in a book some time ago. I hope you see some lesson in it:

In 1892, at Stanford University in the US, there were 2 poor students who were not able to pay their college fee. So they approached a pianist Paderewski to perform in their college. Paderewski was quite the superstar at those times. They thought that they would raise enough money from the tickets that they would be able to pay the pianist as well as pay their fee. They asked him to perform for $2000. He agreed and performed.

But, they could raise only $1600 from the concert. With their heads hanging in shame, they went to the pianist and said that they will give the rest of $400 later when they will be able to pay for it. Currently, they said that they were not even able to pay tuition fees. So, they gave him a cheque for $400 and requested him to encash it later. Instead of shouting and scolding them, to their surprise, Paderewski told them that they don’t need to worry. He will not only deduct his fee for this concert but also agreed to pay their tuition fee for them.

Years passed. It was the time for the First World War. The pianist Paderewski had now become the Prime Minister of Poland. Poland was ravaged due to the war and was in dire needs of food and ammunition. He approached the United States to help them. US President Hoover quickly sent food supplies and helped Poland during the war. When Paderewski went on to thank President Hoover, Hoover said that he needn’t thank him. He was just returning the favor. He said he was one of the 2 students whom Paderewski had helped a few years ago to pay their tuition fee.

Think of your Toastmaster role as a role of not self-improvement but helping others. Improvement will happen automatically if you come to the meetings. By helping others, by doing small things, can have a huge impact on others lives. Like taking up roles in a Toastmasters meeting. Your role as Ah-Counter can help someone stutter less and become a better speaker. I could go on and on.

Before I sign off as the president, I would just request all of you, the new officers and the members to try to help each other. I am always there to help. You just need to be proactive and ask for help. You just need to capture the moment before it is too late. You can take my adopted baby now and help it grow more into an awesome person in the future.

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